By Sgt. Kerensa Hardy and 1Lt Francois-Xavier
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21,
Kiseljak & Dobol - Portuguese and Germans recently
came together for a common cause.
Eight military vehicles - four bearing the German flag and four
with the Portuguese flag - transported members of the German 2nd
Mixed Infantry Reconnaissance Company and members of the Portuguese
2nd Platoon, Reconnaissance Squadron from Cavalry Regiment n°4.
two countries worked together to familiarize the Portuguese with
the Germans' mission. Soldiers from the Op Res will take over
the German AOR while the Germans are engaged in an exercise, Joint
Resolve, Feb. 25 - March 2. The Germans will join in live firing
in Trebinje with a Spanish company.
"Our goal is to keep the same attitude and make sure the
people feel that nothing has changed except the uniforms and the
faces," said Portuguese Capt. João Santana, squadron
Portuguese troops paid close attention as their German counterparts
introduced them to the area they will patrol during the weakling
During the familiarization portion of the training, the Germans
and Portuguese drove through the AOR so the Portuguese could get
a sense of the area. They traveled in and around Fojnica, Kiseljak
and Kresevo, which are the cities normally patrolled by the Germans.
The Germans gave brief history lessons and told of significant
events in each area.
this four-day span, the Germans taught their replacements and
briefed them on all aspects of their AOR," said Capt. Renko
Siegmann, 2nd Mixed Inf. Recon. Co. commander. "The Portuguese
gained many benefits and learned much about the area they will
patrol in just a few days.
"We will know the characteristics of the AOR, the people
and their problems and all their concerns," Santana said.
"We are here to help them not to create more problems,"
While the Cavalrymen were in Kiseljak, The 'Tigers', 3rd company
from Portuguese 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion had deployed
in the American Battlegroup Area of Responsibility (AOR), in Camp
American companies went to Glamoc to practice shooting on Barbara
Range. During this ten-day period the Op Res took over most of
the battlegroup's General Framework duties in its AOR. Patrols
in any part of the region, including the most remote ones, such
as Bratunac, on the Serbian border, were carried out by Portuguese
riflemen soldiers, along with American liaison teams for signals.
"The local people were usually friendly to us," mentioned
Ssgt. Jose Cardoso.
On Tuesday the 14th, as a strike from workers in Zvornik blocked
the road, half an hour discussion between demonstrators and Lusitanian
soldiers enabled SFOR to regain its freedom of movement in the
joint weapons and vehicles display also took place on Wednesday
the 15th. Soldiers could take a closer look at M1A1 Abrams and
M2A2 Bradley while the Americans discovered the Portuguese Chaimites.
The Op Res, also called Task Force Echo, hardly ever stands idle.
No sooner had the newcomers arrived in BiH than they were all
on duty. "Some of us didn't even have enough time to unpack
our luggage, but that's the way it is," confirmed Lt Col.
Antonio Menezes in a broad smile.
Nations of SFOR: Germany,
SFOR at Work